Last Goodbye (2020)
Collapsing in the street, Eva journeys in her mind’s eye to finally and courageously accept her fate and onward to a new journey.
Completed On: 27 Aug, 2020
Duration: 7 min 48 sec
Director: Guillermo Martin Sepulveda
Submitted By: Guillermo Martin Sepulveda
DirectorsGuillermo Pablo Martin Sepulveda
ProducersGuillermo Pablo Martin Sepulveda
WritersGuillermo Pablo Martin Sepulveda
Runtime7 minutes 48 seconds
Completion Date27 Aug, 2020
Production Budget200 USD
Country of OriginAustralia
Country of FilmingAustralia
Film ColorBlack & White and Color
Born in Chile, Guillermo Martin Sepulveda arrived in Australia as a child refugee. He is a Native American and an Australian. He’s a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and has also completed studies at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA).
Guillermo has written for television in Australia (Lifestyle programs, comedy shows and documentaries). He has also written short films which have screened internationally, winning numerous awards.
His first book "5 minutes" (Non-fiction novel) was published recently.
Guillermo is a member of the Australian Writers Guild, the International Screenwriters Association and the Australian Screen Editors Guild.
— What inspired you to make your short film? How did you come up with that idea?
The film creates spaces for personal interpretation.
There is nothing wrong about dying. It is natural for us. Our journey to this acceptance is the crux of this story.
We've all got to go out from this life sometime. It's not an easy subject matter for any film. Either realised in a film full of dialogue and talking heads, in a basic set up or not. And for a short film, here there's no glib dialogue, nor 'got ya' plot twists or doctored laughs. No easy outs or happy endings. I ain't playing to win applause or 'entertain' with a cheap laugh. This is about a journey we don't want to take and with all the hurt going on right now, it's even harder to contemplate - to have to say goodbye to life. I'm not here to momentarily cheer anyone up. Eventually we're all going down that road of a last goodbye. How do we get there? What personal obstacles do we face towards acceptance? Sometimes feeling forgiveness and then not? And if we're lucky, we can say goodbye and leave intact, at last enjoying all the beauty, the commonplace, we took for granted, the joy found in the everyday, one last time, a lasting memory. EVA has a last moment in the arms of her love and he can now release her and she releases herself to death and the ecstatic peace of another world.
Perhaps like all creatives here too, I'm interested in telling/sharing stories about how we live among the sacred and the profane. Always seeing connections between disparate elements and feelings in life. Always with an eye and a heart to make some sense of the fleeting passage of time. Always gathering and safe-keeping ideas and experiences, like water into the well of creativity to draw out as needed. I had the luck of free camera equipment for a day. I thought about the joy of potentially making a film. I looked at the available assets – basically no budget, technically on my own, two actors I wanted to work with, I had location ideas around my home, a home that could be used as a film base (for meals and comfort), with little use of sound recording/boom access (as I was doing all the technical work) I had to make it almost silent, and I had some friends I could call on for extras, these friends who I had not seen in some time and wanted to go on a personal artistic journey with them. So I created a story around these available opportunities. Was interested in the expressive artistic form, the multi-layered/multi-form image and sound, creating themes/sub-themes, motifs, representations. I was interested in the five stages of grief/dying – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Also in all people's desire to die at home, in the arms of the love you love, and not in the sterile coldness of a hospital. It is also the time of COVID-19. I wanted the film to let the audience explore, engage and imbue their thoughts and senses instead of spoon feeding them all the information without an opportunity for personal interpretation. I wasn't interested in matching shots sizes, the tired film language, and endless character dialogue. Wanted to capture moments, fleeting beauty. Wanted to explore space, audience eye-lines in the frame, the golden ratio, create a world outside of the camera eye, explore colour. I was delighted when composer Sergei Slavsky came on board for the music and that inspired me more – the film was eventually cut to his lovely music. I took what I had at hand, what was in my heart and just created.
— Tell us how it was to produce your film? What was the starting point, funding, script, shooting, casting, edit etc.
I was supported emotionally by friends and family through an artistic journey that I was basically taking alone with the 2 actors. With a vision, with help, collaborating with the actors, it was a pleasure to create. I edited when I could steal time after work, sometimes in the cold nights, sometimes when an idea flashed before my eyes and took a hold of me.
—Funny or scary moments on the set?
I ripped my trousers when I lay down on the street to compose a shot. There was laughter all round and it broke up the seriousness of the shoot. Then we all relaxed, with me and my split trousers with gaffer tape.
— Do you have a dream?
Not to go mad so I must keep creating until it kills me.
— What is your favorite film?
Many, including "Nostalghia" by Tarkovsky (anything by Tarkovsky).
— Give advice for those who want to make a film, but don't know from where to start?
There is always endless opportunity to be creative, just take the first step and keep walking. Maybe you will run, maybe you will fly. Why not?